Apr 30, 2013

Sugar and Dementia?

"Research found that when the path of insulin is blocked to rats' brains -- which mimics insulin resistance -- the rats start to show signs of Alzheimer's Disease.  The research team calls this type 3 diabetes for its 'brain-specific form of diabetes associated with Alzheimer's." Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte, neuropathologist at Brown University

According to an article in the April/May issue of the Green American magazine, Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and that the recommended limits are 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men.  According to this article, sugar is hidden in many items: A Big Mac contains 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, a can of Coca-Cola contains 8 teaspoons, 4 oz of orange juice contains 4 teaspoons, sports drinks can contain 7 or more teaspoons, an 8-oz flavored yogurt contains 8 1/2 teaspoons.  Sugar is in items that one would not even suspect.  At a grocery store recently I was trying to buy natural peanut butter.  Most had sugar.  After picking up jar after of jar, I finally found an Adam's brand that did not contain sugar.  With obesity, sugar diabetes and dementia on the rise in America, perhaps it behooves us to look at our relationship with sugar. 

Apr 29, 2013


"I give freely of my time, my knowledge, my wisdom, my wealth, and my love." Ray Boland

Do we give freely?  The above is a suggested affirmation from Ray Boland.  It seems human nature is to clutch closely the above-named things.  We have all been with people who refuse to tell you a recipe or resource they used -- apparently fearing that their own specialness would be negated if someone else knew what they knew.  We are all familiar with the amusing Neiman Marcus's chocolate chip cookie recipe story -- that Neiman Marcus provided the recipe to a customer upon request, and then charged them $250.  The customer was so flummoxed that they then put the recipe out for anyone to have for free.  Some consider this was a publicity stunt by Neiman Marcus, but - if the story is true - it provides an example of someone who gave freely and someone who did not.  At a class the other night we were talking about scrimping and saving of money -- for the elusive "rainy day", but what rainy day, exactly, are we saving for?   It seems that we can come to a place in life where we do give more freely, and that giving freely can liberate our souls.   It also opens us up for receiving more abundantly. 

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." Maya Angelou

Apr 28, 2013

Be Willing to Change

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin
That is true not just of species, but of us as individual humans.  The more ways we block change, the more damaging it is to our bodies.  Change is one of the absolutes in life.  There is not one thing that will remain constant, and - if we try to make something constant by trying to control it or hang on to it, we will lose the struggle.  Better to accept that change is a natural part of life, and to embrace it.  A helpful technique is to look back over your life and see the benefits that came from a change you resisted.  I can think of several examples in my life:  letting relationships go, letting professional situations go, letting geographic locations go.  If we can have the faith that there will always be something better in store, then we can let go of "what is" for "something better".  Let's practice that one together.

Apr 27, 2013


"It is necessary that we release all thoughts -- as well as things -- that clutter up our lives." The Science of Mind, Page 232

It seems that we think of spring as a time to clean up our environments.  Communities are planning spring cleaning events where residents gather to clean up the detritus from the winter.  We still tend to do spring cleaning in our homes.  I have already cleaned the windows of their winter film, and I will soon start on areas that need sorting and letting go of items.  With the warmer weather and longer days, it seems a natural time to reconsider what we want to keep.  If we live in northern climates, we have been indoors with all our possessions for a few months -- and perhaps now is the time to let some of them go. 

While we are spring cleaning, let us not forget our thoughts.  If we have had thoughts that do not serve the higher good of ourselves and others, let us let them go.  Now.  We can choose to release any negative thoughts, and we can choose to entertain only positive thoughts.  Just like we choose who we want to entertain in our homes; we can choose what thoughts we want to entertain in our minds.  The quality of our lives depend upon it. 

Apr 26, 2013

Doing our Best

"The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself." Wallace D. Wattles

I am surprised how many children with whom I conduct psychological evaluations are described by their parents as "lazy".  I have never met a lazy child.  I have met children who have learned to give up, who have learned that it is too dangerous to try, who have learned that there is no way to please a parent - so why try.  I do not mean to be hard on the parent, but children are not inherently lazy.  Look at a baby and all she or he strives to do!  Children are not lazy.  If they are not trying, we need to consider:  why are they not trying?   The same is true for adults.  We can give up on ourselves.  We can become afraid to be all we can be.  We can settle for less.  Of course, it is risky to play full out.  The people with whom we have surrounded ourselves may leave us.  That is a real possibility, because humans seem to fear others who are going for it.  In spite of  this possibility:  The best thing we can do for ourselves, the people we love, and the world is to make the most of ourselves.  What can you do today to reach a goal for yourself?  Does it involve taking classes?  Consider taking action today.

Apr 25, 2013

Making a Difference

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make."  Jane Goodall

It is so true that what we do, and even the way we show up does make a difference.  We are either a blessing on a situation, or a bane.  We either bring joy to a situation, or we bring diminishment.  I don't think it is possible to have a neutral effect.  We are either being a positive influence or a negative one.  Perhaps Jane Goodall is talking about the type of work we do; I do not know the context of this quote, but it is not limited by our work.  It is how we are in relationships, in transactions, in communities, in families.  When I was a teenager, I sometimes helped pump gas for customers at my father's gas station, and later I worked as a waitress to pay my way through college.  In those situations of providing service to others, I was made aware of how important it is to treat with respect those people who do the simplest of tasks for us:  the checker at the grocery store, the bank clerk, the person who serves the latte'.   We can all have bad days, but - overall - a lot can be determined about the character of a person by how he/she treats those who provide them service.. 

Apr 24, 2013

Belief Systems and How They Affect Us

" the dark emotions of grief, fear and despair are in-the body energies mediated by beliefs we have gathered from the culture of family and society around us. Their purpose is not to make us miserable, drive us crazy, or shame, weaken  or defeat us, but to teach us about ourselves, others and the world, open our hearts to compassion, and to help us heal and change our lives. They bring us information and supply us with energy-----the raw material of spiritual empowerment and transformation." Miriam Greenspan

A different way of looking at what we tend to call negative emotions.  Perhaps they do serve a purpose of helping us to learn about ourselves/others/the world, to open our hearts to compassion and help to heal us.  It is certainly a helpful way to look at these emotions. Something at least as important to look at is our belief systems.  We have incorporated belief systems from our family of origin and our culture -- of which we may be unaware.  It is a healing task to look for those belief systems and let go of the ones which do not serve us.  It is our belief systems which cause us to make the choices we make, and -- if we are unaware of what those belief systems are and we have subscribed to a belief that does not serve us, we will continually make choices which are not in our best interest.  A common belief might be:  "money is the root of all evil".  If you have this unconscious belief, it can prevent you from earning the money you might earn otherwise.  What is a belief system that you want to release --- one which does not serve your higher good? 

Apr 23, 2013

Life's Challenges

"The presence of God has never eliminated pain, only made it more bearable.  Mysterious as it is -- no matter our pain or excitement, our drama or circumstances -- all that we can hope for is here."  Mark Nepo

In the above quote, Nepo is speaking of the physical pain he had in having a rib removed and the resulting chemotherapy for cancer.  We humans do seem to love our dramas.  We can get so caught up in what someone did or did not do that offends us, the unfairness of it all, how someone won't do what we think we would prefer they do.  Sometimes I think it would be easy to be loving and forgiving, if we all lived in caves; but it is those pesky relationships that cause us to grow.  It is in relationship that we learn our own shortcomings and come to see the soul within the other -- and that we are all connected.  It is in relationships that our own rough edges are worn smooth, and we become compassionate human beings -- seeing that all people are trying their best within the belief systems they are created. 

Apr 22, 2013

Earth Day

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

-- Frank Lloyd Wright

We are in the midst of our third winter storm in three weeks.  Yes, really.   Every week in April, so far, we have had a winter storm.  School closures, interstate roads closed.  As I write this in early morning, the trees are laden with snow.  It is so beautiful and so serene.  Silence, except for my heating system.  Many people feel Nature provides them with an experience of God.  Nature, with its beauty and grandeur and power, can help us see how we fit in the scheme of things.  On this Earth Day, let us remember to take care of Nature, so that the generations which follow us can enjoy it as much as we do.  When I drive to see Dwane, I pass a bison ranch.  The new calves are being born right now.  Here is a celebration of Nature!


Apr 21, 2013

Eliminating Toxic Relationships

"Toxic relationships cause unnecessary stress," Andrea Bonior, PhD, author of The Friendship Fix

Bonior gives three reasons to eliminate a relationship from our lives:
1.  Are you your very best with this person or does this person bring out the worst in you?
2.  Is there balance and reciprocity.  If you do most of the giving, the relationship is likely to be draining.
3.  Do you look forward to being with this person or is being with this person like checking something off your to-do list? 

If any of the above are true, it may be time to let that relationship go.  Of course, all three of these things might be true for the person for whom we provide caregiving.  It may not be an option to eliminate that relationship, but -- knowing the drain that caregiving can be, we owe it to ourselves to have our other relationships be nurturing and supportive and positive. 

Apr 20, 2013

Benefits of Green Tea

"A key antioxidant in green tea is a great weapon against memory loss.  It might boost neuron production." Joy Bauer, RD

I love tea and drink it summer or winter.  I brew my own by pouring boiling water over the tea, let it steep, and after it cools, store it in the refrigerator.  Since I add no sugar, it is a healthy beverage with no calories.  A squeeze of fresh lemon adds some zing.  One of the ways Americans add a lot of calories to their diets is with sugared beverages.  Even though diet versions of soda may have less calories, they are not good for us.  So, to support our memory and enjoy a healthy beverage, try green tea.  I buy naturally-decaffeinated, so I can drink it late in the day and not have it interfere with sleep. What are some of the ways you support your health daily?  

Apr 19, 2013

Moving Through Pain

"I finally saw that to make it through the pain, I had to be more like water and less like ice." Mark Nepo

Nepo is talking about the pain of having a rib removed during his treatment for cancer, but the above quote can apply as much to emotional pain as it does to physical.  There is more pain if we resist.  If we go with the pain, there is still pain -- but it is less immobilizing.  There is much pain in this process of dementia.  Pain at seeing the person we once loved become someone else.  Pain as the demands of caregiving constrict our own lives.  Pain at seeing the person with dementia becoming more and more disabled.  Someone has called it the long goodbye.  It certainly is that, and there are grieving opportunities all along the way.  I am trying to implement Nepo's advice.  Now when the care receiver demands something impossible, I just let it go.  I do not try to reason, I do not try to coax --- I just listen.  Certainly things are not the way he would like for himself.  They are not the way I would like for myself either, but this is what we have -- and it is folly to resist it.

Apr 18, 2013

Quality in What We Do

"Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected." Steve Jobs

We have all heard similar stories:  about the people who see something bigger and better in what they do.  The familiar story of the 3 people working with bricks and mortar -- when asked what they were doing, the first complained about the work and the dust, the second said they were building a structure, and the third said with delight that he was building a cathedral.  Our attitudes toward what we are doing have a huge impact on our moods and the quality of what we produce.  In caregiving, it has been my intention to do it well, with graciousness toward the care receiver.  We model for others in how we do the caregiving, and we model for others in how we take care of ourselves within the caregiving.  Our first obligation must be to tend to our own health and well being, while also treating the care receiver with respect. 

Caregiving with Right Motive

"to assume that another's condition or way of being in the world hinges on my presence is the beginning of self-oppression and codependence.  In extreme moments of negative self-centeredness, we can even assume magical proportions of burden, in which we feel acutely responsible for a loved one's illness or misfortune . . . ."  Mark Nepo

As caregivers, we can become so enmeshed in the act of caregiving that we think the other person's way of being in the world is our responsibility.  I would suggest that - even with dementia - we are not responsible for the other person's way of being in the world.  We are, perhaps, responsible for his or her safety, for providing an environment that will meet the increasing needs of the person with dementia, but we are not responsible for their happiness.  In my experience, the person with dementia will try to convince us we are responsible for his/her happiness, but we are not.  To think we are is what Mark Nepo is calling negative self-centeredness.  We are responsible for only our own happiness.  We can contribute to others' happiness, but we have no control over how they choose to see things.  Yes, of course, having dementia is a difficult path --- both for the person with dementia and the person (s) caring for the person with dementia.  Let us not make it more difficult by assuming responsibility for the other's way of being in the world. 

Apr 17, 2013

Not Alone

"What if we weren't alone after all?  What if you were really a fragment of a great and glorious mind, like an individual wave is part of the magnificent ocean?" Joan Borysenko

There are other teachers today who are saying the same thing:  that we are all part of a great Oneness, and that it is only an illusion that we are separate human beings in separate bodies.  Quantum Physics studies are supporting this interconnectedness of energy.  Would we live our lives differently if we believed that we were part of "a great and glorious mind"?  I think we would.  I think there would no longer be terrorist attacks, like the one this week in Boston and the ones that happen too frequently elsewhere.  If we are not really separate, how can we bear to hurt one another?  Whether or not you believe that we are all part of "a great and glorious mind", let us try to live our lives in alignment of that belief:  knowing that what we do unto another, we really do unto ourselves.  Let us practice acts of kindness. 

Apr 16, 2013

Teaching Others

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." Galileo

An interesting thought, and one that anyone who teaches might want to consider.  There is a belief by some that we already have access to any of the knowledge that any person has ever known -- we just have to get in touch with that knowledge that is out there, available, energetically.  It may be true.  There is so much wisdom in an infant as she interacts with the world, and it is a joy to see an infant in an environment which is enriching and supports development.  Perhaps the support is just as Galileo says, we are supporting the person to know what he or she already knows.  It is true in some forms of therapy, that a therapist helps someone find within him or herself the answers to their own particular life circumstances.  In those forms of therapy, the therapist acknowledges the wisdom within the other.  As caregivers we can model for others by our own behavior; thus, perhaps, we can help them find within themselves the answers to how to caregive themselves.

Apr 15, 2013


"Everyone struggles with disappointments, setbacks and missed opportunities. Why do some people seem able to bounce back and learn from these experiences, while others never rally and live a life of disappointment and frustration?"  Mayo Clinic Blog

This is certainly a worthwhile question.  Everyone in life has challenges, and yet, some people seem to handle their challenges with so much more graciousness and happiness than others do.  There are numerous books written now that say happiness is a choice.  In my life observation, I would agree.  It is our choice to be happy or not.  Life's challenges will come and go, but our attitude of looking for what is right in our lives will build the resiliency to help us weather the storms of life challenges.  What is right about your life today?

Apr 14, 2013

The Spiritual Life

"The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin." Parker J. Palmer

Mark Nepo says it similarly, "Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual."  I think sometimes people equate being spiritual with being religious.  They may or may not be connected.  If one's religion helps one to "be more at home in your own skin", then religion is also spirituality.  Spirituality to me is mostly an interior journey: making friends with all parts of oneself, forgiving self and others, realizing our oneness with Spirit and one another, becoming increasingly compassionate and loving toward oneself and all others (to include our planet), becoming a more mature and better functioning person.  For me, the spiritual path is also the path to good mental health; which includes subduing the ego.  Dr. Joan Borysenko says, "You take your ego into every situation, creating the meaning of everything that happens and everything you see, out of the images of your past."  Recognizing the ego at its work enables us to be free to not take things so personally, to see the universality of it all, and to be at peace within ourselves and with one another. 

Apr 13, 2013

Enjoy Life

"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it." Rita Mae Brown

Simple suggestion, but well worth considering.  When we are dead and gone, how do we want to be remembered?  I would suggest that being happy people is one of the very best ways to be remembered.  I have heard therapists say that the best gift we can give our children is to be happy.  I think that is the best gift children can give their parents, too.  Someone once said of my daughter that they realized they felt better after having been with her.  Now that is a legacy by which to be remembered.  Although all of us have challenges, most of us do not have an excuse to be unhappy.  Unless we have a biochemical imbalance in our brains which prevents happiness, being happy is largely a choice.  We choose to be happy and see the best in things -- or conversely, we choose to see the worst in things and grumble about that.  Which way do you choose to see life?

Apr 12, 2013


"There is always a sufficiency of God's grace present for this moment, and therefore, we have only to be still in this moment in order  to receive a sufficiency of Grace, but only for this moment." Joel Goldsmith

Yet another reason to live in the moment.  Eckhart Tolle gives the same advice.  Be present now.  A worthy goal, which take intention and practice.  There are some ways that can help us be in the moment:  yoga, meditation, noticing one's breath, pacing oneself to enjoy the moment -- instead of being intent on living for what is next - rather than what is before us.  Dance and other forms of art can immerse us in the moment.  Prayer practices can as well.  What works for you to help you stay in this moment?

Apr 11, 2013


"He who seeks beauty will find it." Bill Cunningham

The above quote is from a documentary about Bill Cunningham who is a fashion photographer for the New York Times.  Unlike other photographers, he avoids celebrities and features people he sees whom he thinks are beautiful and have their own sense of style.  He seeks beauty.  We may seek something else, but the important thing is to be aware of what we are seeking.  If we look for positive things, like beauty, joy, harmony, peace -- we are more likely to encounter it.  As humans we can get into a rut on looking for the negative, and that will have a negative impact on our health and well being.  Today we are in our fourth day of a significant spring snow storm, and the trees are laden with snow.  It is beautiful and so silent!  Yesterday I shoveled a path to our bird feeders to refill them, and today the birds are flocking around to eat.  Some even come up to my window, as if to thank us for the food.  There is beauty everywhere.  What is beautiful in your life?

Apr 10, 2013

Natural Sleep Aids

"Regular aerobic exercise or yoga can make it easier to fall asleep and to sleep longer." Jenna Bergen

Other natural sleep enhancers include hot bubble baths, lullabies, valerian root, white noise machines, melatonin and lavender aromatherapy.    If using melatonin, take 1 mg or less about 90 minutes before bedtime.  Music which has about 60 - 80 beats per minute helps older people with sleep problems sleep better.  If you want to try valerian root, take 400 to 900 mg between 30 minutes and 2 hours before bedtime.  White noise machines can block out interfering noise that may be keeping you awake.  Humidifiers can also help if you are troubled with dry nasal passages.  Before going to bed, writing down a list of what you want to accomplish tomorrow can relieve your mind of trying to keep track of those tasks, which can keep you awake.  Replenishing sleep is important for us all, and we who are caregivers need to make sure we can sleep so that we are at our best -- with the many responsibilities we have.  (Source:  Prevention Magazine March 2013)

Apr 9, 2013

Dementia: Most Costly Malady

"Cancer and heart disease are bigger killers, but Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are the most expensive malady in the U.S., costing families and society $157 billion to $215 billion a year." Rand Corporation

Those of who are caregivers are well aware of how costly dementia care is.  The prescriptions alone average about $5000 a year for us, and that is with prescription insurance.  Then there is the cost of whatever care the caregiver puts in place to give her or himself respite.  $20 an hour and up.  The Rand Corporation has figured what the cost is in lost wages for those caregivers who give up income to care for the family member, and that cost is $41,000 to $50,000 a year for every dementia case.  The direct cost of dementia from medicine to nursing homes is $109 billion a year, more than either cancer or heart disease.   I give credit to you, fellow caregivers, for handling the most expensive medical diagnosis of our day, and for doing it with dignity.  May life reward you richly. 

Apr 8, 2013

Work as Prayer

When I set the intention that my work would be my prayer or a form of moving meditation, my work improved and my happiness increased.  This practice brought me to a realization that my previous inclination of always wanting to be somewhere else was a mental trap that created no present-moment awareness."  Rev. Dr. Patrick Cameron

The habit of always wanting to be somewhere else is a very familiar human habit, and it prevents us from being content.  It is also something which contributes to anxiety.  If one always wants to be somewhere else doing something else, then there is always discontent.  I find in the midst of a task - especially if I feel it is an obligation -- that I am mentally poised toward the next task that I think I would prefer to be doing.  What irony and what a waste of time.  At one point in my life I went to a Benedictine Monastery for spiritual solace, and it was instructive to watch the monks at work.  Whether in the gardens or in the kitchen or at prayer, their pace was slow and their attention was on the task at hand.  Work as prayer.  Life as prayer.  Whether or not we are religious, a good way to live is to be present to what is at hand.  Setting that intention helps us do it. 

Apr 7, 2013

Courage to Grow

"As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace." Mark Nepo

If we are honest with ourselves, we all have times of hurt and disappointment and betrayal.  These challenges Joseph Campbell says are simply a part of life, and one has to be okay with that.  I agree.  We can grow to the point where we are okay with the fact that life has challenges, or we become angry, rigid and controlling people.  Everyone has challenges.  It is probably true that most people are doing the best they can at any given moment, and do not intentionally hurt other people.  We can give other people the benefit of doubt.  We can learn to not take things so personally.  We can look for the gift within the challenge, and - when we are in the midst of a challenging situation - we can know that we will return to a place where we experience peace. 

Apr 6, 2013

How to Handle the Small Stuff

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'  Maya Angelou

Such wisdom.  I learned some time ago that a way to tell a lot about a person is to take a trip with them.  It is amazing how much a person can learn from another person by being around them for even a 24-hour trip -- especially if something goes awry on the trip!  Over my life I have learned there are people I want to be around if there is a crisis, and there are people I would prefer are not around in a crisis.  A cancelled flight is another good example in which you can tell a lot about a person:  what an array of reactions from people -- about something over which they have no control.  One way I try to keep my serenity about things is to think if this incident/issue/challenge is important enough that I will remember it in ten years.  That helps me not to sweat the small stuff, and - as the saying goes - most of the things are the small stuff. 

Apr 5, 2013


"We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see.  We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors such as caretaking or controlling.  Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency." Hazelden

Considering my options is an important priority for me.  I have been told that I am so good at considering the options, that it is annoying.  Perhaps.  But, it is also a good skill to have.  We can become so locked into behaviors, beliefs, habits, cultural teachings -- that we can become blind to our options.  Making choices often upsets those around us, because the choices can be reflective of how we have changed; and change is frightening for many humans.  I just read a fascinating article, shared by a friend, how science has now proven that we have another brain besides the one in our cranium; and that one is in our belly.  It is not grey matter, but is a web of neurons lining the intestinal tract that perceives, thinks, learns, decides, acts and remembers -- completely independent from our cranial brain.  This author, Philip Shepherd, says that our tasks as humans is to connect the brain in our head with the brain in our gut, to be fully alive and responsive to life.  Shepherd says the way to get in touch with our brain in our belly is by our breath and by remaining in touch with that still point at the center of our being. 

Apr 4, 2013

Mountain Bluebird

"We celebrate the beautiful bluebird as a symbol of love, hope and happiness."  Larry Zeleny

Today I saw my first mountain bluebird -- returned from its winter habitat.  They are so exquisitely beautiful -- almost sky-blue all over.  A sure sign of spring, despite there being so much snow that I still cannot get into our outside garage.  I have contracted with some professionals to remove some of the pine beetle-infested trees on our property, so - instead of the usual solitude and silence, there is the sound of chain saws, doorbells ringing with questions and reports of progress, and smoke from the fires set to burn the infested trees.  I dislike cutting down trees, but try to remember that taking out the infested trees protects the remaining trees.  In spite of the upheaval with this project, it is wonderful to see warmer weather, longer days of sunlight, and emerging signs of spring.  It arrives as a sign of optimism to me.

Apr 3, 2013

Doing the Impossible

"Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assisi

Providing caregiving for someone with dementia is doing the impossible -- if you are trying to do it alone.  The assisted living facility personnel have told me that they cannot imagine how I did it alone for so long.  I really cannot imagine it either.  But, that is how it is done, is it not?  We start by doing what is necessary, then what's possible, and then what is impossible.  I don't think St. Francis was thinking of something like caregiving.  He probably was talking about living according to what one can discern is God's will for one's life.  St. Francis experienced a number of humiliations:  he was a failure as a soldier, rejected by his father and judged to be a fool by many.  He realized, however, that these were paths of awakening for him, and he used them as such so that his words and teaching still resonate today.  Is it important for you to consider what God or Universe or the Divine might want for you?  Is it possible that we have Divine Assignments to which we agree before coming here?  If that is a possibility, what might yours be?

Apr 2, 2013


April is a month of freedom and the redemption of innocence.  Passover, Easter and Ramadan -- the April Holy days of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are about being made new, being born again out of the slavery of the ego into the spaciousness of Divine Mind.  The Spring Equinox is likewise the invitation of the Earth Mother to become again as little children, to be born anew in the wholeness of our potential."  Dr. Joan Borysenko

We are in the season of rebirth, from ancient myths and traditions to evidence in the world of nature; a time Dr. Borysenko says is symbolic of freeing ourselves from the slavery of our egos.  That is somewhat hard to imagine -- that we are slaves to a part of ourselves, but other teachers support this idea.  A goal of lifetime is to free ourselves from the clutches of ego.  Perhaps that is how people like Dr. Viktor Frankl experienced freedom - even in the midst of a concentration camp.  Perhaps it does not matter so much our external circumstances, but our interior ones.  Being a caregiver for someone with dementia can be imprisoning too - we literally have less freedom, less time to follow our own pursuits.  In what ways can we have more freedom within the role of caregiver?  If we follow Dr. Borysenko's advice, it is by freeing ourselves from our own egos.  This involves becoming other-centered, versus self-centered.  It involves remembering that we are all connected. 

Apr 1, 2013

Forgiving Self

"“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” Robert Muller

A reader reminded me that the person who is most difficult and the person who is most important to forgive is oneself.  Yes.  In order to have proper self regard, we need to forgive ourselves for any and all shortcomings and perceived transgressions.  Of  course, there is also the step of making things right -- when possible and appropriate.  If possible and in the best interest of the person we may have harmed, we need to make restitution:  make things right by apology or whatever action best suits the perceived transgression.  These steps enable us to have full positive regard for ourselves.  And, if the perceived transgression was in behavior toward ourselves?  For that too we can apology and make right.  If we have been over eating or over spending, we can apology to our body selves and change our habits to support our health.  Let us choose to make things right with ourselves:  in our thoughts, words, beliefs and actions.